If you knew the conversation you were having with someone - a loved one, a friend, a mentor - was going to be the last one you would ever have with them, what would you want to make sure you told them? And at the same time, what would you want to make sure they told you?
That was the opportunity facing both Jesus and his closest followers during the evening known as “The Last Supper” in all four Gospels. Jesus has given them a clear sense his time is short, that the civil and religious authorities have increasingly come to see him as a threat and will soon use their power to take his life. And so during their time together that evening, Jesus reminds them of a number of the things he considers most important about life, faith, and carrying on the mission and movement he has started. Throughout Lent this year, our Sunday morning Messages will be devoted to exploring a number of those things.
What about you? What would you say to those closest to you if you knew it would be your last time together? What would you choose to offer them as the things you consider to be the most important about life, faith and work? And what would you want to know from them?
During the season of Lent that begins on Wednesday, March 6, I ask you to consider two things.
First, consider giving that spiritual exercise a try, writing down what you would say either to others in general or specific to one or two people, as well as what you would want to know from them. And second, consider not waiting - consider having that conversation with one or two people now, especially if there is someone you know whose time is or may be short.
The prospect of doing that might be understandably frightening. But it can be an incredibly powerful, poignant and life-affirming experience for both you and that other person.
It was for Jesus and his closet followers.